1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Corbridge

CORBRIDGE, a small market town in the Hexham parliamentary division of Northumberland, England; 31/2 m. E. of Hexham, on the north bank of the river Tyne, which is here crossed by a fine seven-arched bridge dating from 1674. Pop. (1901) 1647. Corbridge was formerly of greater importance than at present. Its name, derived from the small river Cor, a tributary of the Tyne, is said to be associated with the Brigantian tribe of Corionototai. About 760 it became the capital of Northumbria; later it was a borough and was long represented in parliament. In 1138 David of Scotland made it a centre of military operations, and it was ravaged by Wallace in 1296, by Bruce in 1312, and by David II. in 1346. Its chief remains of antiquity are a square peel-tower and the cruciform church of St Andrew, of which part of the fabric is of pre-Conquest date, though the building is mainly Early English. Extensive use is made of building materials from the Roman station of Corstopitum (also called Corchester), which lay half a mile west of Corbridge at the junction of the Cor with the Tyne. This site has from time to time yielded many valuable relics, notably a silver dish, discovered in 1734, 148 oz. in weight and ornamented with figures of deities; but the first-rate importance of the station was only revealed by careful excavations undertaken in 1907 seq. There were then unearthed remains of several buildings fronting a broad thoroughfare, one of which is the largest Roman building, except the baths at Bath, yet discovered in England. Two of these buildings were granaries, and indicate the importance of Corstopitum as a base of the northward operations of Antoninus Pius. After his conquests had been lost, and Corstopitum ceased to be a military centre, its military buildings passed into civilian occupation, of which many evidences have been found. A fine hoard of gold coins, wrapped in lead-foil and hidden in a wall, was discovered in 1908. Corstopitum ceased to exist early in the 5th century, and the site was never again occupied.